Date(s) - 22 Jan 2019
1:10 PM - 2:00 PM
3043 ECpE Building Addition
Speaker: Will Kaul, Former Vice President and Chief Transmission Officer of Great River Energy
Title: Grid Expansion in a Time of Deregulation, the Environmental Movement, and Rapid Technological Change
Bio: Will Kaul retired from Great River Energy as vice president and chief transmission officer in July 2017. He was employed by Great River Energy for over 38 years – 25 years as a senior leader. Kaul was the founder of the CapX2020 initiative and served as its chair from its formation in 2004 until his retirement. CapX2020 is a collaboration of 11 utilities that jointly planned and built a $2.1 billion, 800-mile expansion of the high voltage electric grid serving a large region in the Upper Midwest. From 2014 until his retirement in July 2017, Kaul spearheaded GRE’s Grid Modernization program and was a well recognized thought leader on the topic. At the heart of these initiatives were his innate spirit of leadership through collaboration, and a vision of a transformed energy system that is cleaner, more resilient, reliable, and affordable. Kaul is widely recognized as a leader by industry peers. He was a founder in 2006 and two-term president of WIRES, a Washington, D.C. based working group that promotes investment in the transmission grid. He also served as a director on the WIRES board. In 2016 he was asked by NRECA to serve on the board of the Utility Variable-Generation integration Group (UVIG), now called the Energy Systems Integration Group (ESIG). ESIG promotes safe, efficient, and reliable integration of renewable energy into the grid. Kaul has appeared before Congress and numerous state and federal legislative and regulatory bodies. He was also a frequent presenter at national conferences. Kaul is currently serving as a consultant to Fresh Energy, promoting grid expansion and electrification of the economy. In addition, he is board chair of the Great Plains Institute and continuing his service on the ESIG board of directors.